FILLING THE STAT SHEET
The Charlotte Hornets have been one of the worst teams at defending opposing centers this season allowing 23.2 points on 59.1 percent shooting, 18.1 boards and 3.6 dimes to that position and will be in tough today against the Utah Jazz. This is a great spot for Rudy Gobert who has logged a double-double in 20 of 26 games he's played this season.
Although these teams have yet to meet up this season, through two games in 2018-19, Gobert averaged 17.5 boards and 19 points per game on 72 percent shooting versus Charlotte. Expect similar numbers today and bet Over his points, rebounds, assists total of 30.5.
FINDING HIS GROOVE
Chicago's Lauri Markkanen is coming off a huge game where he connected on five made 3-point shots on his way to putting up 31 points and fell one board shy of a double-double ending with nine. Today, he is in a position to thrive versus a Pistons defense struggling to defend opposing power forwards allowing 25.4 points on 49.6 percent shooting, 9.8 rebounds, and 3.2 assists to that position. Bet Over Markkanen's points, rebounds, assists total of 24.5.
Both the Washington Wizards and the Philadelphia 76ers are coming off losses last night. The Wizards fell just shorts of completing their comeback versus the Raptors falling 122-118, and the 76ers once again shot below 44 percent from the floor in a 117-98 loss to the Mavericks.
Slow starts have hindered the 76ers as of late as they are averaging only 49.3 first half points per game (27th lowest) in the Association over their most recent three games. The Wizards on the other hand have been one of the highest scoring first half teams averaging 59.3 points per game. With fatigue a potential factor for both sides, bet Washington to keep things close early and take them first half spread getting 8-points.
The Houston Rockets are fresh off a comeback victory versus the Clippers on Thursday night where they won outright as 5-point underdogs and shot 50 percent from the floor. Today, they travel to Phoenix to take on a Suns squad playing on a back-to-back after falling 126-108 last night to Oklahoma City.
The Suns have struggled from the floor recently being held under 45 percent shooting in four of their most recent five games. Their offense has taken a big hit averaging only 105.7 points per game over their most recent three. With the Suns playing on no rest and hosting the red-hot Rockets, look for Houston to cover as 6-point favorites.
SPARKING THE OFFENSE
The Minnesota Timberwolves could use a much-needed offensive boost having Karl-Anthony Towns back in the lineup after losing nine straight games. KAT hasn’t played since Dec. 13, due to a knee injury. Today, they travel to Portland to take on a Trail Blazers team who have won three straight.
Both squads have struggled playing on back-to-back's dating back to last season where Portland has posted a 6-11 record, while the Timberwolves 4-12. Expect Minnesota to keep things close thanks to the return of KAT and take them on the spread getting 6.5-points.